tv Early Today NBC December 17, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PST
>> good tuesday morning. coming on on "early today." unconstitutional. a federal judge rules the nsa's collection of our phone records is likely illegal. expect the case to reach the supreme court. wintry mess. hundreds of flights cancels because of a winr storm. mega mania. we're countsing the odds. the rock and roll hall of fame welcomes a whole new class of great artists and bands. plus it's just another day for a couple of french daredevils getting a view of the alps. it's tuesday, december 17th. "early today" starts right now.
a very good morning to you. i am richard lui. firefighters in big sur is where we start there in california. they're struggling to contain a wildfire that broke out on sunday night. the big sur volunteer fire department was quickly overwhelmed by the blaze, prompting the aid of more than 400 other firefighters from around the area. as of last night, only 5% of the fire is contained mainly due to high winds and dry conditions. at least 15 homes have been destroyed by that blaze that now stretches over 550 acres, about 2 1/2 hours south of san francisco. a serious legal blow to one of the most controversial practices of the nsa, a bush-appointed federal judge declaring the collection of phone metadata is likely unconstitutional. it comes ahead of president obama's meeting today with some top tech executives. they are worried about how the nsa fallout has impacted their businesses. nbc's tracie potts is live in washington. tracie, good morning to you. they're going what are the implications based on this judge's ruling?
>> reporter: exactly. 15 of the biggest companies, you're familiar with the names, yahoo! apple, microsoft, google, facebook, twitter and others. they want to come to the white house and talk about the economic impact of this surveillance. and now a federal judge has weighed in. the national security agency is collecting so much secret data that it's building a new facility in utah just to hold it all. but a federal judge says collecting records of every phone call made to and from americans is unconstitutional. an indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion of privacy. >> it's untargeted, it's in bulk, and that's what makes it more troubling. >> reporter: the judge says a 1979 ruling that said americans do not have a right to private phone records is outdated because everyone has a cell phone now. the nsa has defended its program saying they only tap into that database with had there's evidence to suspect someone in the u.s. is collaborating with terrorists.
>> the purpose of these programs and the reason we use secrecy is not to hide it from the american people, not to hide it from you, but to hide it from those who walk among you who are trying to kill you. >> reporter: but the judge said there's little evidence terrorists have ever been caught from these phone records. in a statement edward snowden, the former nsa employee who first revealed the secret surveillance, predicts this ruling may be the first of many. it will likely come up today when president obama meets with ceos from the nation's largest tech companies. now, the judge has actually put a hold on his own ruling, expecting there's going to be some sort of appeal here. this one may even work its way up to the u.s. supreme court. richard? >> a lot of people watching that one. tracie potts, thank you so much. the mega millions jackpot may have to rename itself to the mega billion jackpot. the huge lottery soared to $586 million. count all that. people, you know, buying up tickets ahead of tonight's big
drawing. well, the chances of winning are 1 in 259 million. those are the worst odds ever. it may just be worth it to pick up a ticket. but if tonight and friday's two drawings don't produce a winner, get this. the jackpot could reach $1 billion by the drawing on christmas eve. it's going to be a very merry christmas for somebody if that happens. if you use antibacterial soaps or body washes on a regular basis, the food and drug administration saying it has seen no evidence antibacterial products actually prevent the spread of germs. they may, in fact, pose bigger health risks. the concern is liquid soaps contain the chemical s triclosa and triclocarbon. it could also potentially interfere with normal hormones likess general and thyroid functions, and that could affect normal childhood development and puberty. the fda is proposing a new rule
that would require makers to prove their products are safe or reformulate, relabel or remove them from the market. check if soap contains these chemicals we were talking about by looking at the ingredients list. there's also new evidence multivitamins don't work as well as a lot of americans had hoped. two new major studies found multmult mul multiminimum multivitamins. kids affected by last month's deadly tornadoes in washington, illinois, got a well-deserved early visit from santa claus. more than 1,000 donated gifts were given to children from the devastated community. organizers held the event to spread holiday cheer and reassure kids who lost homes, hey, that santa could still find them, and indeed he has. great stuff. tens of millions of people are in the path of yet another winter storm. we might remember here the season doesn't even officially
begin until this saturday. in toledo, ohio, you're looking at just a preview of what's moving east on its way to the i-95 corridor, the nasty snow, sleet and ice could impact millions of travelers today and into wednesday morning. and timing is critical when it comes to rush hour traffic in the air. flight aware reporting that several hundred flights are already canceled or delayed. so check with your airline no matter where you are in the country. along with dangerously low temperatures, moderate fall is expected, three to five inches in boston and two to four inches in new york and philadelphia with perhaps up to a foot in northern new england alone. bill karins has been counting all those numbers and all that snow we've been seeing on the roads. >> yes, the same areas that just got it on sunday. the question is, how is it going to affect the airlines? and it's on a tuesday. it's different. the last one was on a saturday night so it didn't matter as much. we are watching the snow now moving through the new york city area, heading into the northeast, and it's happening right before the peak of the rush hour. so roads will be slippery. a couple airport cancellations.
but no delays as of yet. i think we'll get some out of the new york city airports and out of boston throughout the afternoon. the rest of the country pretty quiet weather. it was an amazingly warm day in southern california. a high of 83. it went up to 85. >> get it right, karins. >> isn't that amazing? 85 degrees. it didn't spread that far north. medford was still only 32. this year-long drought is ridiculous. we're going to shatter records pretty much across the board for the least amount of rainfall in a calendar year. san francisco, this is the rainy season. only a third of an inch so far. l.a., a couple drops in the bucket. same with vegas. we need the wet weather and soon. there's not a lot out there. we are going to watch a little bit in the northwest with a cold front dropping down through and a little bit of rain. there's not a lot to talk about. not a lot to brag about. expected rainfall amounts, bellingham, about a half inch. seattle, a quarter inch. we don't sneak much of that down into portland. a little eighth of an inch. that's like that much.
that's your nationaleventually e of some rain on thursday in southern california. we keep getting these little storms, richard, in the west. we need the big rainstorms, the one that gets the headlines. we don't want any destruction, but we need it. >> and as you know so well, if it stays dry, we have the concern about mudslides later on. >> the fire areas, the burn areas. >> thank you, bill. a love story from the horror of the boston marathon bombing. a practice vote for our senators. and could the volcano at yellowstone national park destroy most of the united states as we know it? that's coming up next.
welcome back. on monday, the senate confirmed jay johnson as the new secretary of homeland security. the final vote was met without filibuster due to democrats changing the rule last month to require a simple majority vote. the senate is also expected to vote on the budget bill later this week. a key vote is set for today. it decides if debate can stop and so that they can vote on whether it becomes law. 30-year-old attorney dustin freedland has been identified as the victim at a new jersey mall. police recovered the stolen range rover 15 miles from the mall at short hills. the search for the suspect is still ongoing. defense secretary chuck hagel replaced general gary patton amid new allegations he interfered with an internal investigation into patient abuses in a u.s.-funded hospital in afghanistan. patton was accused of blocking a navy nurse from cooperating in
the investigation, telling the nurse to, quote, stay in your lane. according to a new study, the volcano beneath yellowstone national park is 2 1/2 times larger than previously thought. the 55 mile long volcano would supposedly erupt with a force 2,000 times that of mt. st. helens. and james costello delighted family and friends over the weekend by proposing to the nurse he met while in the hospital. costello suffered serious burps from the bombing. he wrote in a facebook post he now knows why he was involved in that tragedy. costello says, quote, it was to meet my best friend and the love of my life. love those stories. now for your first look at business. we turn to cnbc's seema mody. good morning, seema. >> hi, richard. president obama will meet with top tech executives at the white house today about ways to boost the economy.
now, the group includes apple ceo tim cook, google's eric schmidt and yahoo!'s marissa meyer. toys "r" us plans to keep stores open 24/7. shoppers can also buy items online and pick them up in stores within an hour. and the national retail federation says nearly half of holiday shoppers plan to wrap up their list online. about 32 million people haven't even started shopping. 10% will wait until christmas eve. richard? >> i'm part of the 50%. i admit it. thank you, seema. just ahead, paul mccartney is in our sports coverage including the man who put the foot into monday night football next.
in a desperate bid to find out how much intel snowden took, nsa officials recently floated the idea of offering edward snowden amnesty. i'd take the deal, ed. just come back with all the intel and all is forgiven. i tell you what. to make you feel safe, we'll meet you in a special amnesty zone. >> don't take the feed. in sports, "monday night football" was low scoring but certainly not boring. ravens at lions. take it to the fourth quarter. lions trailing 15-10. they get six but miss a
two-point conversion. lions up by one. then with seconds left, the ravens go for a 61-yard field goal. look that the puppy! justin tucker's sixth of the night. it makes it. ravens squeak out a win, 18-15 with that beauty. in control of an afc wild card berth. the lions prove they can't close, despite having a fourth quarter lead. a seattle car dealership loves its seahawks so much, how much, you ask? well, they put out a bet. in the seahawks shut out the giants, $420,000 would be evenly split between 12 winners that were drawn. well, the seahawks won, 23-0. the owner saying he didn't expect them to do it. good thing that he bought a $7,000 insurance policy to pay that prize money. lucky guy. $14 million in studies were announced wednesday to explore brain injuries in athletes. the nfl and the national institutes of health want these new studies to focus on live
patients and youth. friday the body of jovan belcher, the former kansas city chief, was exhumed to look for a brain injury. belcher committed suicide last year. it was the best shooting night ever for the heat. miami rolling past the utah jazz, 117-94. lebron, as you can see there, tweaking his ankle in the third, but that didn't stop him looking at that dunk. james got 30 points. dwyane wade, 27. chris bosh, 20. team shooting percentage, a whopping 63%. talking about records, the nets' joe johnson tying an nba record, scoring 29 points in up with quarter. johnson had 37 points including 10 three-pointers against the 76ers. nets at home beat the 76ers, 130-94. do you think sir paul mccartney was impressed by joe johnson's numbers, by the way? well, he seemed more interested in getting a free shirt. he reaches, as you see there, but fails when one is launched toward him during halftime.
he was probably thinking, let it be. ♪ all right. being inside gondolas is scary enough. how about walking on a rope tied between two of those puppies? that's a two inch wide, 200 foot long rope, 1200 feet above the french answlps, and the walkerse tethered. good thing. up next, a weather nightmare for commuters. plus beyonce setting some records and the rock and roll hall of fame is getting more crowded. we'll tell you which artists make the cut next.
welcome back. we are watching temperatures that will be a little bit cooler today than yesterday. i bet you some people even turned their air conditioners on in southern california. today we'll be about 79. it's like a different world once you go north here, the border up into oregon. 33 in medford. you're still locked in with some of the cooler air. there is some freezing fog. seattle, showers today. tonight they move down towards portland. whereas i mentioned, we do get cooler in california. we're going to add a chance of some showers to the forecast. i don't even want to call it rain at this point. if we were going to target, it would be on friday, thursday night into friday. we'll watch that and hope it comes. >> that's when our san fran friends will be breaking out the galoshes and the breakers. >> they're hoping for it. entertainment, queen "b" has done it again. in just three days, bee yon's
self-titled album sold over 800,000 albums worldwide, an itunes record and amounts to over $13 million for her and columbia records. target also announced in a statement that they will not sell the album in their stores because it was released online before selling actual cds. the rock and roll hall of fame has named their inductees. they include cat stevens, hall & oates, nirvana and kiss, some of my favorites, all of them. linda ronstadt, peter gabriel, andrew oldham, brian epstein and the "e" street band. >> all heading to cleveland. >> way to go. >> the television hall of fame also announcing inductees including lieu ya julia dreyfus, david kelly and ruben stoddard. ray price passing away at 87, one of the last living connections to singer hank williams. justin timberlake stopped his concert in louisville over the weekend. why? to allow one of his audience
members to propose to his girlfriend. she better have said yes. >> of course. chris brown will be spending a bit more time in rehab. the singer had his probation revoked yesterday. katy perry had a singing mishap. it happened at the nrj music awards in cannes over the weekend. ♪ get ready because i've had enough ♪ >> if you don't mind, we can restart the music. >> i hate when that happens. >> we have our own background track, right? >> i'd like a background track. >> backup singers, maybe? >> the last track, just occasionally. >> we can have them stand right back there. whenever you crack a joke. >> the applause sign would come on. >> your jokes are that good, right? you're watching "early today," we hope it's just your first stop of the day here on nbc. laugh track, hit it.
leading the news in "the new york times," u.n. seeks record sum for humanitarian aid in 2014. the u.n. saying aid agencies need nearly $13 billion for humanitarian relief operations worldwide in 2014. with about half that needed just for syria. and in the independent online, neanderthal cared for elderly. the new findings are based on excavations around the skeleton of an elderly neanderthal man in france. he could barry walk and had lost his teeth but was painstakingly buried after he died. some stories we're watching for you, quote, crime of massive proportions by the epa's highest paid employee. officials saying climate expert john beale pretended to be working as an undercover agent for the cia so he could avoid
doing his real job for years. the feds want him sentenced for at least 30 months for bilking the government of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade. beale's lawyer acknowledging his guilt and asking for leniency. he said his client has been seeking help from a therapist. he'll be sentenced tomorrow. bill karins, i can see him saying i am agent 86. here is my shoe phone. caught red-handed. you have to see these jail x-rays. those are stolen necklaces inside of stomach of a man being booked into a florida jail after they were removed and confirmed be to the stolen items, he was charged with burglary and tampering with evidence. how they remove those. a matter of time or is it -- >> probably went in and got them. >> okay. these little lines are channeling their inner beast. zookeepers in san diego say this dynamic duo are inseparable. yeah, you. the keepers started feeding the cubs because their mother neglected them. uh-huh. i can hear you. >> mommy's loss is their gain. >> that's right.
the two so close here, bill, they become vocal when they aren't right next to each otr. and this is an interesting part. the female said to be a little bit feistier than the brother. >> teach him a lesson. >> yeah, he'll learn. he'd better listen to her is what we've got to say here. they get a little chatty when they get hungry. really great pictures. time now for a look ahead and a look back. stopping drunk drivers. a nationwide crackdown will be announced by the transportation department as the holiday driving season begins. on this day in 1903, the first airplane flight at kitty hawk, north carolina. the first sustained power controlled flight was name bid wilbur and orville wright. happy birthday to milla jovovich who is 38. chris matthews, 68. and pope francis, 77. keep it right here for more news, weather and sports. i'm richard li along with bill karins. have a great tuesday. .
nbc bay area news begins with breaking news. >> good morning to you. it's 4:30, i'mterry mcsweeney. >> i'm laura garcia-cannon. fire crews are on the scene of a scrap metal fire burning at sims metal management in redwood city. it's on seaport boulevard. >> today in the bay's chase cain arrived on the scene. what's it looking like to you? >> reporter: we have a lot of smoke but redwood city fire said they were able to contain this to a one-alarm fire. you may remember this is the exact same facility that caught on fire about a month ago. the fire broke out around 1:00 a.m., but unlike last time, which was a